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The demand for punishment

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  • Carpenter, Jeffrey P.

Abstract

While many experiments demonstrate that the actual behavior is different than predicted behavior, they have not shown that economic reasoning is necessarily incorrect. Instead, these experiments illustrate that the problem with homo economicus is that his preferences have been mis-specified. Modeled with social preferences, agents who forgo material gains can often be called rational. The current experiment illustrates this point with an example. Assuming self-interested agents, punishment is not credible in social dilemmas, yet people are often willing to incur costs to punish free riders. Despite this seeming irrationality, we show that these same people react to changes in the price of punishing and income as if punishment was an ordinary and normal good.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 62 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 522-542

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:62:y:2007:i:4:p:522-542

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References

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  5. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
  6. Peter Matthews & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "Why Punish: Social Reciprocity and the Enforcement of Prosocial Norms," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0213, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  7. Rami Zwick & Xiao-Ping Chen, 1999. "What Price Fairness? A Bargaining Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(6), pages 804-823, June.
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  9. Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr, 2003. "Measuring social norms and preferences using experimental games: A guide for social scientists," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000501, David K. Levine.
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  11. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
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  16. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2004. "Social Reciprocity," IZA Discussion Papers 1347, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
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  21. Pillutla, Madan M. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1996. "Unfairness, Anger, and Spite: Emotional Rejections of Ultimatum Offers," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 208-224, December.
  22. Suleiman, Ramzi, 1996. "Expectations and fairness in a modified Ultimatum game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 531-554, November.
  23. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "When In Rome: Conformity and the Provision of Public Goods," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0217, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  24. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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